TikTok is testing a live streaming desktop app to rival Twitch – TikTok Live Studio.
Many Twitch streamers often interact with their audience outside of the platform via TikTok or Instagram. Meta (formerly Facebook) already has several live streaming products to compete with Twitch – but now ByteDance will try its hand at live streaming.
TikTok Live Studio is a Windows program that allows TikTok users to stream to TikTok Live. The program includes a chat feature and a window manager for streaming desktop content (like games), your phone screen, or a gaming console (Xbox/PlayStation). TikTok told TechCrunch that it is testing the live streaming program with a few thousand users.
Those who have access to TikTok Live Studio report that it is pretty basic. It offers both landscape and portrait scenes for setting up the live stream. Sources include:
- Game Capture
- Mobile Capture
- Video Capture
- Program Capture
- Text/Image Overlay
Features that are missing include no browser streaming and no alerts for @mentions in chat, subscribes, or anything else. Emojis are also pretty basic, considering Twitch has an entire culture built around streamers with custom emojis that can be used all over the platform. It’s a badge of honor to be able to use a streamer’s emojis in some communities.
TikTok is obviously hoping to keep its users on the service rather than bouncing to Twitch to live stream.
While Twitch started as a site suited to gamers, over the pandemic, it has expanded massively to include music, beauty, fashion, and many other audiences. TikTok is aiming its initial release at gamers – a crowd well seasoned for live streaming testing. TikTok Live Studio may be a product that launches in 2022 after testing – it’s something to keep on the radar.
The app has become the place for many creators to monetize their live streams. Tips, scheduled events, live Q&A sessions, and gifting are just some of the ways users can interact with their audiences. Scheduling live streams and allowing tickets to be sold will also step into Twitter’s Ticketed Spaces territory. TikTok’s first foray into a desktop app also has some interesting security implications.
The TikTok mobile app remains banned on United States military and government mobile devices. Will a desktop product from TikTok suffer the same fate? While TikTok Live Studio will be focused on live streamers, it would be a terrible move not to include the viral ‘Discover‘ feed in an eventual wider app release.